Why is it important to clean and maintain your fireplace? First of all, not doing so can makes for an untidy and dirty home which can compromise you and your family’s health over the long run. Secondly, not cleaning and maintaining your fireplace on a regular basis can lead to a fire hazard or other safety issues. Lastly, cleaning and maintaining your fireplace helps to ensure its functionality and longevity over time. If you take care of something, it will last for a very long time. With all of this in mind, here are a few tips on how to clean and maintain your fireplace:
- Remove the ashes. Before anything else, get rid of all the ashes in the fireplace. In the winter and fall, always make sure that the ashes are never higher than two inches. Once the winter season is over, use a shovel to remove all the ashes from the fireplace. Place the ashes in a bucket so that you can easily and tidily dispose of them. For the smaller bits of ash, you can use a shop vacuum that comes with a filter bag.
- Get rid of soot and fire stains. Doing this will likely require more effort than removing the ashes. First, mix up a solution of soap and water and pour it in a spray bottle. Spray it on the visible stains that you see. Give it 30 minutes to soften the residue. Once the time is up, scrub the surface with a wire brush.
- Work on stubborn stains. If there are stains that simply refuse to budge, you’re going to have use something stronger than soap and water. Pick up a bottle of muriatic acid at the store. Be sure to read instructions very carefully as muriatic acid is an extremely toxic substance that can present serious danger if not handled carefully. With a ratio of 1:10, mix the muriatic acid with water. Similar to the water and soap mixture, apply it to the stubborn stain for half an hour before using a wire brush to scrub the surface.